One of the most-enjoyed activities in the Adirondacks is ice fishing, and that doesn’t stop during the winter. Once the lakes freeze, they become an ice-fishing paradise. Most ice fishermen will tell you that heading out for some angling on a frozen lake is a relaxing, enjoyable way to spend the day, but if you’re new to ice fishing, there are some safety tips you should always follow.
You may want to ease into ice fishing with someone who has done it before and understands the different types of equipment you’ll need, as well as the rules that should be followed. Another great resource is the DEC’s Introduction to Ice Fishing. It can help you learn more about the type of gear you’ll need to make the most of your new hobby, and will give you some examples of common fish you’ll likely catch, such as bluegill, walleye, and trout. They also provide valuable safety tips, which we’re sharing below. Keep reading to learn more!
Staying Safe While Ice Fishing
- Check ice thickness. This should be your number one safety concern. Generally speaking, bodies of water do not freeze evenly. You will want to walk only in areas that have at least four inches of clear ice or eight inches of white ice. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if you’re unsure of ice thickness, drill test holes and measure as you go.
- Watch out for moving water or docks. Usually, ice in these locations is unsafe. Dock owners often use bubblers around their docks to keep water moving, so that the ice doesn’t form there and damage the dock.
- When you’re out on the ice, always carry ice safety picks. They look similar to a jump rope with two spiked handles. These can be a lifesaver should you break through the ice, as they can help you dig into the ice and get out of the water.
- Communication is key. If you’re going ice fishing, you should always let someone know when and where, and when you plan to return. It’s also a good idea to go ice fishing with a friend.
- Never let children go ice fishing unaccompanied by an adult. And, if you plan on taking your children ice fishing with you, use good judgment. Always make sure they are wearing the proper clothing and safety gear, including a life jacket.
Find the winter outerwear you need at the Speculator Department Store.
The Speculator Department Store carries an extensive collection of quality winter outerwear for the whole family. Before planning your ice fishing adventure, stop by and see how we can make your day out on the ice even better!